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Panama Avian Ecology Application 2018
Instructors: Dr. Catherine Viverette and Dr. Edward Crawford

Credits: 4

Pre-trip orientation: TBA

Program dates: January 2 -- January 15, 2018

Program Fee: $1800.00 plus Airfare

Capstone: Can fulfill ENVS and BIOL capstone requirements.

Class size: up to 18 maximum

Eligibility: Participants should have taken Ecology (BIOL 317 or equivalent) prior to participating in the program, however this prerequisite can be waived by the instructors. All applicants will be required to meet with the program directors for an interview and pre-requisites can be discussed at that time.

Program Cost: TBA plus airfare

This 4-credit course will provide students with an immersive study of Tropical Ecology with a focus on bird ecology and conservation of tropical ecosystems. The course is a unique blend of rigorous science and community engagement in both Panama and Richmond. While in Panama, students will visit and learn about four major ecosystems important to migratory birds including Panama Bay, coastal mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, and tropical cloud forest.

Student learning outcomes

(1) Learn about tropical ecology and conservation with a focus on birds from coastal mangrove systems to cloud forests.
(2) Training in avian and habitat field sampling techniques
(3) Conduct data organization, manipulation, analysis and interpretation
(4) Gain experience working as part of an international team of researchers
(5) Conduct outreach with local schools and conservation organizations

During the spring semester, the class will meet twice a week for class discussion and conduct analysis of data collected in Panama. Students will also participate in education outreach with local school children including at least one related outdoor activity.

For more details please visit:

If you are interested in participating in Panama Avian Field Ecology please complete this form and have a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) sent to or

All students interested in applying to the class will be interviewed once we receive your form and LOR. Only students invited to participate will then formally apply through VCU's Global Education Office.

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From Bay to Bay
Video "From Bay to Bay", a documentary film focused on VCU's Center for Environmental Studies winter study abroad program, Avian Field Ecology in Panama. Filmed by Laura Chessin of Graphic Design/VCU.
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